Whispering Reeds

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The Lordship of Whispering Reeds
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Duchy: Guardian


Barony: Trebachas


Leaders: Lord Logan Barclay


Population: 7,000


Known For: Basket, Game Birds


Major Towns and Cities: Windgrace (Capital)


Characters of Whispering Reeds: Here


Description: Once a beacon for the co-existance of the tribal population with "civilized" Guardians, the marshy delta lands of Whispering Reeds was ravaged in the aftermath of the Great Schism of 508. The tribal population was wiped out entirely, and nearly everyone living there killed. In a matter of a week, the dead were estimated to number some 33,000 people.

Grey River Delta
History

Whispering Reeds is a lordship that, for hundreds of years, has been a beacon of peace in a barony—a whole isle, really—known for its commitment to and refinement of the art of war and battle. The tribal communities living there laid down their arms before the Barcas early in the campaign that gave that family control of the isle in 30 AG.

They did not, however, as easily accept the more hands-on leadership that was presented by their first lord, Lord Lucas Barclay. In fact, they killed him in the first year of his rule. They killed his son and heir, Lord Lyle Barclay, three years later. His son, however, fared better. Many historians attribute the successes of Lord Lawden Barclay to his youth; he was only fifteen when his father was killed but was noted for his keen intelligence and a maturity that transcended his years. It was due to his diplomacy in early life and, truly, throughout the length of his reign that afforded him a place as a folk hero and cemented the reign of the Barclay family in Whispering Reeds.

They have peacefully coincided since. Or did until nearly everyone died in the Great Schism of 508.

Politics

Whispering Reeds was long considered Tel Girade's "integrated" counterpart in the south, its tribal people willing to bow a knee to the decrees of House Barclay and House Barclay willing to bow its head to the important customs and beliefs of the tribes. With the eradication of the tribes of Whispering Reeds, however, integration has ceased to be a concern.

It often relies on the port in Sentinel Spire, rather than Gwencalon, for sheer practicality’s sake. Therefore, regardless of the political climate between the Barons of Crucible and Trebachas, Lord Whispering Reeds has historically kept dealings with Sentinel Spire civil. Diplomacy is a key skill for whomever sits as lord, fundamental for keeping the peace between the port city, the tribes of Trebachas, and its mainstream Guardians population.

Succession of Lords

496 – Present

Lord Logan Barclay (b. October 7, 473)

30 — 496

House Barclay
Geography

Land
The lordship lies entirely within the Duchy of Guardians as part of the Trebachas Barony. It is bordered on the north-west and west by Fen March of Trebachas and the northeast by the barony of Dun Artan. It is bordered on the east by Crucible, while the south is bordered by the Sea of Veils. While the north is a plain suitable for settlement, the south of the lordship is dotted with the lagoons and marshes of the Grey River Delta and its soil has proven too unstable for settlement. Several attempts have been made, only to lose entire villages to the shifting river sands and sediment. It is for this reason that, there are a few villages of stilt houses that dot along the edges of the reed marshes.

Climate
The climate varies with some regularity by its distance from the Sea of Veils. There is little rainfall, and summers are hot and dry while winters are mild. Only an average 4 to 8 inches (100 to 200 mm) of rain falls on the delta area annually, and most of this falls in the winter months. The delta experiences its hottest temperatures in July and August, averaging 90°F (30°C). Winter temperatures are normally in the range of 50° to 66°F (10° to 19°C). With cooler temperatures and some rain, the region becomes quite humid during the winter months rather than the summer like Fen March.

Economy

Currency is used almost exclusively in Whispering Reeds, providing a standard among the tribal and non-tribal populations. The tribes, however, still barter among themselves and bartering is to be expected when one travels instead to the tribal villages to do business.

The lordship exports reed baskets that are woven by the villages that live on the delta’s edge, but the product pales artistically in comparison to the baskets produced by Fen March.

While not considered to be among their exports, the game birds found in Whispering Reeds are considered to be a fine delicacy. Wealthy men and women across the isle will go to great lengths to procure them for their table when holding fine feasts.

There are a number of hawks that are trained in Whispering Reeds to be sold elsewhere, but the chief among these is the Reed Hawk, native to the lordship. The house of Lord Whispering Reeds is known to employ the finest of these trainers, and a large portion of the discretionary income has traditionally come from selling the right to train hawks and falcons in the lordship.

Culture

Whispering Reeds, due to its unparalleled integration of the native population, was considered to be the most peaceful lordship of the volatile Trebachas barony. It is now even moreso, since less than a quarter of its people survived the aftermath of the Great Schism and nearly all of them "civilized" Guardians and tribal half-breeds.

It observes all of the major Guardian holidays, as well as an annual autumn festival — around which bird hunting is the main event — that coincides with the annual visit of Baron Trebachas.

There was, traditionally, also an annual hearing of grievances between tribes and non-tribal villlages by Lord Whispering Reeds to celebrate the period of peace and understanding brought by the first 'successful' Lord Whispering Reeds, Lord Lawden Barclay. The judgment given at that hearing was considered final by all authorities. It was therefore considered fundamental that judgments be wise and equitable; these judgments are the primary proving point to secure the next year's relations with the tribes of the Reeds. Lord Logan Barclay was the last lord to hold this courtly proceeding with the tribal population.

Bestiary

Whispering Reeds has a very similar variety of vegetation to Fen March, although what trees exist — mostly cypress and palm — are entirely in the north. In the north, one can find the southern-eastern most edge of the Fen Wolf’s range, as well as the prized Reed Hawk which is known for its hunting capability and a favorite among Guardian falconers.

Lotus flowers bloom in the fall, and one can also find a number of varieties of water hyacinth and papyrus.

Several hundred thousand water birds winter in the Marches, including the empire’s largest concentrations of little gulls and whiskered terns. Other birds making their homes in the delta include grey herons, shovelers and cormorants. Also found are egrets and ibises. Other animals found in the delta include frogs, turtles, tortoises, mongooses, and the Reeds Monitor. Fish are abundant there and include, most notably, five varieties of sole.

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